June 07, 2012

Who Do You Think You Are?

Have you seen this show? Because if you haven't...you should. Each week's episode focuses on a particular celebrity, tracing their family history and uncovering some pretty rad stories. I'm a bit hooked.
Each week that I watch, I am reminded of how grateful I am for MY family's history. Coming from an LDS family that spans back to the early years of the church, family history (on my mom's side) has been very carefully researched and recorded. My mom has several large tomes detailing the past happenings of her family. I cherish those books, and I crack them open with regularity.
Perhaps one of my favorite stories comes from my great grandpa Jesperson. He and my great grandma "J" lived in a colony in northern Mexico while the Mexican revolution was in full swing. He remembers hurriedly packing up his family and sending them north to the US because there had been word that Mexican revolutionaries were headed toward their small town. He kissed his wife and children goodbye and stayed behind. He recalls burying their possessions in anticipation of returning to claim them later, and watching from a hill as Santa Ana's troops burned his home to the ground. Needless to say, he never recovered those buried possessions, and ended up settling in Arizona instead!
Great Grandma and Grandpa Jesperson (Grandpa J wasn't yet born)
My family history is peppered with stories like this, and I read them with relish. I feel such a connection to them and a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices that they made. If not for them, I (obviously) would not be here. I'm also grateful that my family has always been so good about taking pictures. Look at all of these gems!
Yep...you guessed it! More Jespersons. My great-great grandparents are pictured in front. That handsome devil in the top left is my great grandpa "J."
Grandpa and Grandma "J" (and FYI...why can't I look like my grandma?).
More of Grandma and Grandpa Jesperson. I think he's still just as handsome today!
...and for good measure, my favorite picture of my grandma Jesperson. What a babe!
When I was younger, I once spent several hours recording all of the different countries that my ancestors were from, and then figured out exactly what percentage of each of those that I had in me. I know...totally nerdy. 
The husband still makes fun of me for that one.
While I have always loved my own family history, I have been especially interested in it for the past few months...probably because my grandma was in such poor health, and unfortunately I know so little about her and my grandpa Ford's histories. I've felt this urge to delve into my "Ford/Larzalere" roots. While my grandpa Ford was still alive, he and my grandma spend quite a bit of time researching their ancestry, but I was never privy to any of their findings. All I know is that my grandma was Belgian and my grandpa was 100% Irish. 
That's it. 
So, I was delighted when my parents came home last week with a box FULL of all the genealogy that my Grandparents had completed. My fingers are-a-itching to go through it. I'll get to add to my reportoirre of family history, so it won't be so one-sided. I can't wait!


  1. I LOVE this post. I feel the same way about my moms side of the family. My favorite thing to read of that family history is the collection of letters that my great-grandpa wrote to my great-grandma while they were separated during the Great Depression & couldn't afford to reunite. She was in Idaho with the kids & he was in San Diego working.
    I also loved this post because, even though I am only a Jesperson through marriage, I feel like a "real" Jesperson & I love learning more about the heritage.
    Love your blog Whitney!

    1. Thanks Michelle! I lOVE old collections of letters! That's what my next post will be about. SO neat!



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